Embracing Argentina's Nature
"LA RUTA NATURAL" (THE NATURAL ROUTE) IS A PROGRAM FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND PROMOTION OF NATURE TOURISM IN THIS COUNTRY, FOSTERED BY THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND SPORTS
PHOTOS: INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE PROMOCIÓN TURÍSTICA DE ARGENTINA
Tourism is one of the sectors the Covid-19 pandemic has pounded hard, a reality from which the countries of the Americas have not escaped. However, the crisis is also an unprecedented opportunity to transform tourism's relationship with nature, climate and the economy. In order to leverage both the most demanded destinations and those that need to show their potential, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Argentina has created "The Natural Route", a development and promotional program aimed at positioning the country as a world-class nature destination. The proposal has the support of the Inter-american Development Bank (IDB), which will allocate 33 million dollars and has been prioritized by the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs of the nation's Presidency. A milestone that makes it possible to get bankrolling negotiations going. "La Ruta Natural" (The Natural Route) organizes its offer based on two approaches: a territorial one, which proposes routes that comb the entire territory, and a thematic one, featuring circuits linked to major products and specific interests, such as adventure tourism, visits to national parks and astronomical tourism, among other choices. NATURAL PROPOSALS TO DISCOVER A NATION The 17 natural routes designed for the program invite you to discover places, circuits and experiences throughout the whole country. One of them is La Ruta de la Selva Misionera, which gives the opportunity to connect the strength of the Iguazú Falls with the magic of this wooded area, home to the country's greatest biodiversity reserve. Ideal options to get in touch with the Argentine wildlife are also the Iberá Route, where you can sail by boat, canoe or kayak in a region protected by the National Park and the Iberá Provincial Park; and the Gran Chaco Route, which also provides the possibility of getting to know communities and traditions linked to the bushy areas. The Route of the Valleys, Ravines and Yungas, land of the Pachamama and of ancestral traditions, allows to join, in just a few hours, the desertic Quebrada de Humahuaca or the Calchaquíes Valleys, with the lush jungle of yungas, while the Route of the Puna opens up sceneries out of this world at more than 3,000 meters high. Red, orange and white deserts, volcanic fields, pentiful rivers that cross eye-popping canyons and dunes are found in the Route of the Deserts and Volcanoes, and if you're looking for a chance to unravel the secrets of the larger-than-life and diverse Patagonia, that can be possible through the Route of the Andean Patagonia, the Route of the Southern Patagonia, the Route of the Patagonian Sea or the Route of the Steppe -the latter with unique desert landscapes in the country which very few travelers know. One of the most stunning of all is the White Continent Route, which kicks off in Tierra del Fuego and opens up to an almost untapped destination. Tourist trips to Antarctica started back in 1958 with the Argentine ship ARA Les Eclaireurs and, since then, the White Continent has become a one-andonly destination worldwide.